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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015

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Marcyn Del Clements
Claremont, California, USA


Danum River Trail, Borneo Rainforest

Come into this forest with me. Don’t trip on the mouse hole right in the path. Here is a hollow log with three square holes cut in the side, created for a civet’s bedroom, but obviously unused. Inside is an intricate spider’s web with hundreds of ladders around the heart-shaped center. You must bend down, to get under a head high fern, and looking down, see a giant pill bug millipede nestled beside exposed roots. He rolls himself into a tight nut that not even a woodpecker could crack. Shining on the path, electric green moss lies across the forest floor like a royal rug. Among the trees, a giant buttressed fig that the Blue-headed pitta hides behind. He is wary and shy; their young have yet to leave the nest. His song is short, quick, then he is gone. And finally, before we leave to go back to the lodge, we find a group of Bornean Bristleheads. They are unique to Borneo, the only species in their family. I see the fancy red thighs. On another bird, I see the cream-colored crown. Then on another, the scarlet chest. On one bird, I can only see the bill. But there is a huge worm in it. He whacks and whacks it against the branch. Bits of bright lichen float down through the dark understory.

birds call in the woods
I am floating above them
in the eagle’s eye

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